A Novel

eBook - 2021
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NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams—and even bigger challenges off the court.
“Hard to put down ... the pages turn quickly ... building to a climax that won’t leave readers doubting whether this is a John Grisham novel.” —Associated Press

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it’s just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn’t immediately needed.
But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he’s dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham’s unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group


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Jun 21, 2021

John Grisham tells a story well, with a terse style that keeps the action constant. But I don't like how his style worked in this book. It largely didn't. I kept turning the pages, but was disappointed in the end. The story seemed manipulated rather than real.

Jun 21, 2021

Wonderful read, Had me rooting for the main character all the way. Very entertaining.

Jun 16, 2021

If you think of John Grisham only as a writer of legal thrillers think again. His "Bleachers," Playing for Pizza," "Calico Joe" and now Sooley are excellent Sports novels. Sooley is about a passionate Basketball player, a young lad from civil war torn South Sudan. He gets a chance of a lifetime when he is selected to play on a team in the US. This leads to a College scholarship. Dare we dream of the NBA? Will he be able to bring his family over to America? You won't be disappointed by this book.

Jun 16, 2021

Fun read. Grisham can get some things wrong. But in this tale - he gets a lot of things right. While this is not necessarily a book I would reccomend to my book group, I would encourage high school/college athletes to read it. Parts are motivational, part is a cautionary tale.

Jun 12, 2021

Grisham could have done better job. Very disappointing.

Jun 08, 2021

A disappointing read. Kept reading hoping that the ending at least would be good but wasn't a fan of the ending either.

Jun 07, 2021

Do not choose this title based on the author's reputation. The amount of detailed description of basketball is an opportunity to speed read to all readers not devoted fans of the sport.

Jun 04, 2021

Once more Grisham proves what a brilliant storyteller he is and his style is inimitable . His concern , message , empathy for the displaced population of South Sudan touched me a lot. I highly recommend the audio version , Graham Dion is AMAZING ! I do not watch basketball but his passionate voice carried me through all the games described in minute technical details without getting bored one bit , nothing but NET!

Jun 03, 2021

As an avid college basketball fan, I thought this is a great book!! Grisham books usually take place in court rooms. This book mainly takes place on basketball courts.
This book really showcases the versatility of Grisham as an author. He is one of the few great authors who appears to not use "ghost " writers in his latest books!

May 28, 2021

I thought this was a very good book another brilliant book by John Grisham!

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